2019-20 Ladies' power ranking

samkrut@mail.ru

Medalist
Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 26, 2014
This is the first season when multiple skaters with triple axels and quads start to shape the image of figure skating of the future. How will they fare vs. the incumbents? Last season neither Rika nor Liza nor Elizabeth could dethrone Alina. Will the situation change this season as mighty "3A" enter the scene? Russian test skates and the first 2 challenger events provide the first glimpse of the season so that it is the high time to set up this traditional thread. A quick wrap-up of the last season. I started with the following ranking list:

#1 Alina Zagitova
#2 Evgenija Medvedeva
#3 Rika Kihira
#4 Satoko Miyahara
#5 Bradie Tennell
#6 Elizaveta Tuktamysheva
#7 Mai Mihara
#8 Loena Hendrickx
#9 Wakaba Higuchi
#10 Elizabet Tursunbaeva

Now I can say that it was not that bad. It just missed Kaori who has become the clear Japanese #2. But even then I said: "Her first competition was not good. And I liked her last year programs better. Still, she is a strong competitor. She has 2 GPs to prove that she is a relevant contender". I also was too optimistic about Mai, Loena, and Wakaba. Finally, I expected Liza to be strong but I could not foresee her pneumonia which affected her otherwise impressive season.

The ranking means my evaluation of what the results would be should all the skaters compete vs. one another in the same imaginary competition. It does not take into account national quotas before the teams are announced. After that it does. It also does not mean everyone's being cristal clean - it is more like my expectations without taking into account meltdown scenarios. In the brackets I put expected scores. Let's start then.

#1 Alina Zagitova (235 - 240)

No matter what some people think and say Alina and no one else is the most decorated skater of the last several seasons. She has shown that like phoenix she can rise after falls beating the competition by 15 points when it matters most. She starts this season as the clear favorite in anything she enters. The test skates showed that she is in the top shape with 2 powerful programs including the true masterpiece which her short program is.

#2 Alexandra Trusova (225 - 245)

Sasha made the history with 3 clean quads in front of 6000 spectators. Her total score potential is higher than Alina's if she does everything right. She will lose 5 - 7 points, though, in the short program and about the same in the free program's pcs. Her task is, hence, to beat Alina by more than 15 points in the free program TES. It is manageable but her jumps should be perfect as she will likely lose in spins and step sequence GOE. Japan Open will be the first test to see what they both can do and judges' reaction to that.

#3 Rika Kihira (225 - 240)

I was surprised to see Rika's score in the low 220s when she finally stayed on foot in all her 3As. I absolutely enjoy her short program but her pcs were not at Alina's level. Her momentum was there last season but she did not get the main podium. Therefore she starts the season more or less with the same status as the year ago. The quad sal will change the picture. She just have to jump it.

#4 Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (220 - 235)

Like Rika Liza showed that she can deliver 3 triple axels. Her programs are atrocious. However, if she gets a good jump layout and neither falls nor pops them her jump arsenal is such a power that the score will surely reflect it. Whether she deserves the 34-68 pcs or not is an open question. Nevertheless, with all the jump content delivered she is likely to have even more than that.

#5 Anna Scherbakova (220 - 230)

Anna is an amazing skater who has a 4Lz. She just beat Liza by 4 points and she had the SP score that raised the eyebrows of many fans. It looks like their fight with Liza for the third team spot will be the highlight of this season. I would still put her a bit behind as I believe that Liza has better potential to increase her score. However, if Anna adds another quad the situation will change.

#6 Kaori Sakomoto (220 - 225)

Kaori is Japan's #2 skater with big jumps and big charisma. She cracks under pressure sometimes and she does not have Alina's 3Lz-3Lo and pcs, and she does not have other girls' quads and triksels. Edges might be called as well.

#7 Evgeniya Medvedeva (220 - 225)

Zhenya comes much stronger at the begininning of this season than she was a year ago. Her main problem is that the competitors are ready as well. And then with all her fantastic qualities she faces too many obstacles to overcome them all. Her situation is similar to Kaori's: the lack of big jumps and wrong edges. Her advantage is her brand name supported by her former medals. Her disadvantage is much tougher Russian competition than what Kaori faces in Japan.

#8 Alena Kostornaya (215 - 220)

Alena is an amazing skater who just became senior "at the wrong time". She needs triple axels. If she masters the jump then she will become a powerful contender for a team spot bringing Zhenya's chances further down.


#9 Bradie Tennell (210 - 215)

Bradie was on the right track with 2 powerful programs last season. The caveats were her reduced consistency vs. the Olympic season and frequent UR calls. If she overcomes those issues she might be competitive with Kaori. In any case, without seeing her this season I think that her team spot is quite secure same as the place in top-10 of any competition.


#10 Satoko Miyahara
(210 - 215)

Many people like Satoko. I am neutral. I just see her status deterioration during the last several seasons and I don't see how she can break this vicious circle.

That's my opening power list. Too many Russian skaters? Well, that's the reality. After the team is announced the list will be corrected as many outstanding athletes will have to watch main events either from the stands or on TV like all the rest of us. Sad...

Some honorable mentions.

Elizabeth Tursynbaeva - a reigning world silver medalist - has injury related issues. I don't know how serious they are that's why I would keep her off the list for the time being.

Sofia Samodurova - a reigning European champion. She is supposedly fighting with puberty effects. I saw her twice this season. Unfortunately, she has virtually 0 chances this season.

Mai Mihara. Well, I always had very little to say about her skating. She could not make the team for some years now. May be this time?

Young You. Her 3A attempts are so far very far from good. Still, she is the only Korean skater who can make some fuzz in the top-10. Unfortunately, Eunsoo Lim did not impress me at all.
 

ruga

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 20, 2017
Here's my list. Will be fun to see at the end of the season ;)

1. Alexandra Trusova:

for now, her scores will be bit lower than Alina's and during Japan Open she will only overtake Alina if she lands all planned quads. But the situation will probably switch at Nationals, Euros and Worlds provided that they both get there. Her PCS may end up at 34/68 level and her GOEs will be pretty good as well.

2. Alina Zagitova:

she can easily overtake all competitors during the first half of the season if she is completely clean or makes only a few small mistakes. Dealing with Trusova later will be more difficult of course, but Sasha relies on very risky elements while Alina's strenght is PCS that rarely swing.

3. Rika Kihira:

3 triple axels planned and can get nice GOEs as her jumps have good distance and flow. She'll need to land all axels and at least try a quad. I'm pretty sure we will see first attempts at GP stages.

4. Anna Shcherbakova:

her main game changer is the quad lutz. Judges are not too crazy about her PCS so far but she'll be at least at the 9s range at the end of the season(if she goes to major comps). GOEs is another thing to work on. Her lack of height and shakier landings on jumps may leave her at <+3 range.

5. Aliona Kostornaia:

It's really hard to place her in this list. Her situation with 3A is unclear and PCS scores are unpredictable. Her free program is bit riskier this season. She hasn't tried any quads/3As so far but her jumps are very well executed. Other elements are good as well.

6. Elizaveta Tuktamysheva:

She will include 3 3As this season, but her layouts are quite inefficient. Jumps are magnificent but judges don't seem to like her longer preparation for them. Programs are not very good this season as well but she'll collect 33/66 in PCS I think. So in total she should reach 220-225 if clean.

7. Evgenia Medvedeva:

She says she is training a 4S but we haven't seen any attempts so far. I somehow doubt she'll get it until at least a few months into season. She also does 3 Lzs, they all were called so far. PCS will be pretty highy, but may not be enough to overtake her more technically prepared competitors.

8. Elizabet Tursynbaeva

She is currently injured so situation is very unclear. Let's assume she recovers completely. She has a quad sal which will help her a lot. But jumps have been rather inconsistent, so it could be difficult to beat others.

9. Kaori Sakamoto

Clear Japan's #2 and a #1 in PCS. Her jumps have good execution, but she had bad luck to stay off the podium in all major intl competitions. Her PCS have risen greatly so it can help her while competing with stronger technicians.

10. Bradie Tennell

No difficult jumps as well, but her performance at WTT has shown that she is capable of earning very high scores when clean.
 

YuBluByMe

Final Flight
Joined
Mar 21, 2018
I’m going to wait until the Challenger series is over for a detailed ranking, but my tentative top ten is as follows (based on past results, first two events of Challenger series, math, and personal bias...not necessarily in that order):

1. Rika Kihira
2. Alina Zagitova
3. Alexandra Trusova
4. Evgenia Medvedeva
5. Kaori Sakamoto
6. Elizaveta Tuktamysheva
7. Alena Kostornaia
8. Anna Scherbakova
9. Bradie Tennell
10. Insert Korean skater here.

I’ll edit this when the senior B’s are complete, but I pretty much agree with Samkrut. I just think Satoko Miyahara will be left behind this year. Also, although there’s always whack scoring at senior Bs, the results were still very telling.
 

Spirals for Miles

Anna Shcherbakova is my World Champion
Record Breaker
Joined
Aug 25, 2017
Mine so far:

1. Alexandra Trusova
2. Alina Zagitova
3. Rika Kihira
4. Anna Shcherbakova
5. Evgenia Medvedeva
6. Elizaveta Tuktamysheva
7. Kaori Sakamoto
8. Alena Kostornaya
9. Young You
10. Bradie Tennell
 

SkateSkates

Medalist
Joined
Feb 17, 2010
Not going to rank them yet because most of these ladies haven’t competed, but I have separated the top ladies into 3 tiers of scoring potential:

Tier 1: 230+
Alina, Rika, Sasha

Tier 2: 220-230:
Liza, Kaori, Anna, Aliona, Zhenya, Elizabet

Tier 3: 210-220:
Bradie, Satoko, Eunsoo, Young You

Some of these ladies are a bit of a question mark due to injury/recovery (Elizabet, Aliona, Bradie), so we will have to see.
 

Leonardo

Final Flight
Joined
Feb 17, 2010
1. Sasha (nothing beats 3 huge quads)
2. Anna (I think she will add a 2nd quad later in the season)
3. Alina (world champion lookinf much better)
4. Rika (great skater + trixels but inconsistent)
5. Alena (perfect skater but no quads, trixels/huge reputation)
6. Zhenya (looks good)
7. Liza (trixels, perfect jumps, but those programs, whyyyy)
8. Kaori (great overall)
9. Satoko (a fighter and an artist)
10. Young you (huge talent +3a)
 

Mathman

Record Breaker
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
To me, the handwriting is on the wall already this season. You must have a triple Axel to win the short program and you must have a quad to win the long. By the end of the season, I believe that the dominant skater will be the quadster who is able to add a triple Axel -- I'm betting on Trusova so far.

I expect that by next year ladies' skating will be like men's in this respect -- you must have at least one quad if not 2, plus a triple Axel to be taken seriously.

The number of points that a skater can gain by presenting outstanding choreography versus just preetty good, or by doing a lot of transitions instead of not so many, or a level 4 step sequence instead of a level 3 -- this will just not play a role in terms of who wins championships.

(Anyway, that's my prediction. ;) )
 

Edwin

СделаноВХрустальном!
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 5, 2019
To me, the handwriting is on the wall already this season. You must have a triple Axel to win the short program and you must have a quad to win the long. By the end of the season, I believe that the dominant skater will be the quadster who is able to add a triple Axel -- I'm betting on Trusova so far.

I expect that by next year ladies' skating will be like men's in this respect -- you must have at least one quad if not 2, plus a triple Axel to be taken seriously.

The number of points that a skater can gain by presenting outstanding choreography versus just preetty good, or by doing a lot of transitions instead of not so many, or a level 4 step sequence instead of a level 3 -- this will just not play a role in terms of who wins championships.

(Anyway, that's my prediction. ;) )

You could very well be right, but both quads and triksels still are a very rare element and I don't see them spreading over the world fast and soon.
 

Mathman

Record Breaker
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
You could very well be right, but both quads and triksels still are a very rare element and I don't see them spreading over the world fast and soon.

I don't think that there will be more than a very few any time soon. But I expect that those two or three will be so dominant as to make lists of "power rankings" sort of academic.
 

SkateSkates

Medalist
Joined
Feb 17, 2010
You could very well be right, but both quads and triksels still are a very rare element and I don't see them spreading over the world fast and soon.

I agree. And I don’t think skaters will risk putting them into their programs until the elements are extremely consistent due to the GOE reduction of you make a mistake. Skaters who earn massive GOE on their jumps - like Alina, Kaori, Aliona - are taking a huge risk if they put in an ultra-c element and potentially risk losing their trump cards: massive GOE. We will see if anyone decides to put in new elements, and if so when?

Do you risk it on the GP and potentially not make the final? Or do you not risk it and risk potentially not even making the final anyway because of your lower BV? It will be interesting to see what strategies different skaters/coaching teams take this season.

Now that Anna has landed a quad lutz in international competition will we see her go for 2 again? Or try for the flip?

It’s going to be a very interesting season for sure, and that is why I didn’t rank them but grouped them in different categories :)
 

Edwin

СделаноВХрустальном!
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 5, 2019
It’s going to be a very interesting season for sure, and that is why I didn’t rank them but grouped them in different categories :)

You are probably right too, #TeamTutberidzeForProgress has almost all Russian trump cards in their hands, but still need to play the game very careful but deliberate with a firm and authoritative hand.

Alyona Kostornaya, I unfortunately consider at a disadvantage, she will really have to prove herself in ultra clean skating and highest possible GOE, of which she is certainly capable, but which also depend on judge's benevolence even more than imposing your power over them by jumping quads.
 

Baron Vladimir

Record Breaker
Joined
Dec 18, 2014
To me, the handwriting is on the wall already this season. You must have a triple Axel to win the short program and you must have a quad to win the long. By the end of the season, I believe that the dominant skater will be the quadster who is able to add a triple Axel -- I'm betting on Trusova so far.

I expect that by next year ladies' skating will be like men's in this respect -- you must have at least one quad if not 2, plus a triple Axel to be taken seriously.

The number of points that a skater can gain by presenting outstanding choreography versus just preetty good, or by doing a lot of transitions instead of not so many, or a level 4 step sequence instead of a level 3 -- this will just not play a role in terms of who wins championships.

(Anyway, that's my prediction. ;) )

Maybe, or maybe not. If Zhenya didn't have URs and edge call her final score would be similar with Rika's. Alina's unofficial score from test skates is on pair with Sasha's.
 

Mathman

Record Breaker
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
Maybe, or maybe not. If Zhenya didn't have URs and edge call her final score would be similar with Rika's. Alina's unofficial score from test skates is on pair with Sasha's.

Well, that is kind of the point that I am making. None of these examples features a skater that has both a quad and a triple Axel.

When two or three skaters start doing 4Lz, 4T, 3A, 3A+3T, 3Lz+3T, 3F, 3Lo+1Eu+3S, with some consistency and not too many errors -- I think it will be game over no matter what spin levels, GOEs and PCSs others may be counting on.
 

readernick

Medalist
Joined
Dec 5, 2015
Maybe, or maybe not. If Zhenya didn't have URs and edge call her final score would be similar with Rika's. Alina's unofficial score from test skates is on pair with Sasha's.

But, if Rika hadn't UR her second 3A, took out her second 3lz due to ankle problems and UR the 3lz (again due to injury) she had in the program. Her score would have been likely 10 points higher, too. Zhenya could not beat a clean Rika even now and if Rika gets a 4S this year and a 4T next or Sasha gets a 3A no one will be able to beat them. Mathman is right..... It means artistry will count for nothing until enough ladies are able to do similar content and then (like in men's skating now) artistry/ quality will have some impact. ( but not enough)
 

YuBluByMe

Final Flight
Joined
Mar 21, 2018
When two or three skaters start doing 4Lz, 4T, 3A, 3A+3T, 3Lz+3T, 3F, 3Lo+1Eu+3S, with some consistency and not too many errors -- I think it will be game over no matter what spin levels, GOEs and PCSs others may be counting on.

I don’t disagree. If this hypothetical skater that currently does not exist (male or female) can do all of that consistently, then yes, everyone else can pack their skates up and go home.

But....I don’t think that skater will ever exist. Every single time a skater comes into the figure skating world with something new, there’s always hype that that particular skater will dominate. It never happens. Not too long ago, I remember everyone thought Boyang Jin would dominate because he can do six quads and has a 4Lz+3T. Everyone thought the same with Nathan Chen, who’s been outquadding his competitors since 2016 yet he still lost the Olympics and the 2017 World Championships. I know the men’s and women’s field are apples and oranges, but there’s a reason they never dominated like everyone thought they would. The same concept applies with the ladies. A year ago, most people thought the three Russian junior girls will dominate once they turn senior. It’s still early in the season, but there’s already signs that that won’t be the case.
 

MalAssada

Medalist
Joined
Jun 28, 2014
I have high expectations for Kostornaya. She may not have a 3A/quad (hopefully yet), but the elements she does, she does them well. I can see her battling with Alina for a spot, maybe not this season, but definitely in the next ones.

This season is Sasha's to lose.
 

Hyena

Medalist
Joined
Jan 9, 2014
I think the one unexpected piece will be consistency. My hunch is that it will not be Trusova, Shcherbakova, and Kostotnaia on the Russian worlds team, because I suspect at least one will struggle putting it all out there all the time. But who will have a strong, consistent, momentum-building season and who won't? Too early too tell, which is what makes tracking their "power rankings" fun for me.
 

Baron Vladimir

Record Breaker
Joined
Dec 18, 2014
But, if Rika hadn't UR her second 3A, took out her second 3lz due to ankle problems and UR the 3lz (again due to injury) she had in the program. Her score would have been likely 10 points higher, too. Zhenya could not beat a clean Rika even now and if Rika gets a 4S this year and a 4T next or Sasha gets a 3A no one will be able to beat them. Mathman is right..... It means artistry will count for nothing until enough ladies are able to do similar content and then (like in men's skating now) artistry/ quality will have some impact. ( but not enough)

If they do that and skate clean, of course. But with harder elements, its less likely to see clean skating. Jason Brown last year finished 2nd in the short without a quad. Rika didn't medal last year at Worlds etc etc So, everything is possible.
 

Mathman

Record Breaker
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
I don’t disagree. If this hypothetical skater that currently does not exist ...

I think we are moving in that direction. Alysa Liu just did 4Lz, 3A+2T, 3A, 3Lo, 3Lz+3T, 3Lz+1Ru+3S, 3F (both 3Lz combos in the second half), which isn't too far off from the hypothetical dream program. (She was unsuccessful on her solo triple Axel (and received 0.65 points for it) she still needs to work on full revolutions, and nothing is guaranteed, but she has plenty of time to grow.)

I will frankly be surprised if Alexandra Trusova does not go for the triple Axel this season. And if Rika Kihira is in solid health, I expect that we will see a quad Salchow attempt (as Readerick mentions above).

It might not be these particular skaters, but someone will leap into the breach pretty soon, I think. For that matter, it could be Zagitova or some other already established star.

(But yeah, Boyang Jin was constantly undervalued and still is, IMHO.)
 
Last edited:

Baron Vladimir

Record Breaker
Joined
Dec 18, 2014
Maybe not this year, but for Olympic year, we could expect that to happen. Harder programs jumping wise skated clean had always been a win situation at Olympics in (recent) ladies fs history (from Nagano precisely). Also, Boyang will get (home country) love from the judges at next Olympics, for sure :biggrin:
 
Top